Saturday, September 27, 2008
On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Christian Heritage Party candidate Jerome Dondo, CGA is standing for election in the riding of Brandon—Souris.
Self-employed since 2000, Dondo works as a finance consultant with First Nation reserves, and provides accounting services to small business clients. From 1993-1998, he worked in the accounts department of Transport Canada. He volunteered as a pastor for Pentecostal Faith Temple in Cat Lake, Ontario, and is currently on the Parent’s Advisory Committee of Ecole Gilbert Rosset, St-Claude, Manitoba.
Wikinews contacted Jerome, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.
Merv Tweed is the Conservative Party incumbent in the riding. Along with Dondo, challengers include M.J. Willard (Liberal), John Bouché (NDP), Dave Barnes (Green), and Lisa Gallagher (Communist).
For more information, visit the campaign's official website, listed below.
== Interview ==
Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?
I have decided to run for political office because I think we live in a great country, and I want to do my part to continue building up on the heritage of our ancestors.When this country was founded, the preamble of the constitution states "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law...". At the federal level, we have seen many examples where this fact is not upheld.The Christian Heritage party is the only federal party which supports the whole constitution as written, and will base it laws upon the principles set out in the Bible.I am running in this riding because the riding that I live in already had a candidate in this riding, and Brandon-Souris is the closest to where I live.Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?
This is my first political experience. However, in my work as a First Nation consultant, I have had much experience dealing with political issues, both at the federal and provincial level. I am also volunteering as a member of the parent’s advisory committee in our children’s school, and have volunteered in the past as a lay pastor of a church.The experiences have taught me how to listen to people’s concerns and explain any positions that I have taken in decisions, while at the same time hearing their concerns and taking those concerns to the appropriate people.As you campaign around your riding, it's likely that some issues are mentioned more often by voters, than other issues. What would you say are the three hottest topics this election, in your riding? What would you and your party do to address these issues?
The Brandon-Souris riding is a large riding with diverse interests and concerns. This riding includes people living in a city, family farms, and First Nations. Therefore it is difficult to identify major issues.That said, It appears that the three hottest topics that I have encountered so far in no particular order are:The farmer’s concerns about the Canadian Wheat Board.
The family concerns about the lack of support for family with only one income.
The First Nation concerns are the settling of land claims.In each of these and other issues, the Christian Heritage Party have a platform which can be viewed on the party website at www.chp.ca. In terms of the issues listed above, our party supports the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board, offering a $1,000 monthly child-care support for families in which one parent stays at home with the children, and we believe that First Nation land claims should be settled quickly.
Is there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?
Being a small federal party, I have found that there is a lack of knowledge of our party more than a misconception. We do not have access to the same dollars that the five larger parties and given from our tax dollars based on the number of votes in the last election. This money can be used by the larger parties for advertising which we cannot afford and makes it more difficult to get our message out.There's a more ways than ever to get your message out, from the traditional campaign fliers and lawn signs, to new media like websites, Facebook, and YouTube. The tried-and-true routes get the message out to the masses much easier, but digital alternatives are much more measurable in how many are seeing or interacting with your campaign. What seems to be the most effective, from your experience?
Since this is my first campaign, I have not comment on this at this time.
== Sources ==
"CHP Election Candidates - Manitoba" — Christian Heritage Party, 2008
Elections Canada: Brandon—Souris
== External links ==
Official campaign site